The next few weeks are do-or-die time for New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson as he decides whether the Mets are contenders or pretenders. Despite their play of late, the Mets are still 10.5 games out of first place and 7.0 games out of a Wild Card spot. Safe to say, with a GM and front office as Alderson and his staff, the Mets will look to get any return they can on some of their players who pique other teams' interest.
One of the names to come out recently, because he'd pitched surprisingly very well in relief, is Jason Isringhausen. With a 3.14 ERA and 1.19 WHIP in 28 2/3 innings, the Mets have turned someone who was basically on the scrap heap into a potential trade chip. Sources have confirmed with the New York Daily News that Alderson was "exploring the market" for Isringhausen, Francisco Rodriguez and Tim Byrdak. Only problem, with regard to Isringhausen, is that he doesn't want to be moved.
As quoted by the Daily News:
"I have two places in my heart...St. Louis, because I'm from there, and New York, because this is where I started. Those are my two favorite spots, and I don't think I'm going back to St. Louis anytime soon. And I love it here...To be able to get close, or maybe even make the playoffs, coming from a team that wasn't supposed to do anything, that's fun..If there is a chance that we can do that, I want to be a part of it...I don't know what's going to happen tomorrow, let alone next year, but for the next year, I want to remain a Met. I signed here to be a Met, and that's how I want to finish the season. It would be great to keep everybody intact."
At 38, Isringhausen is just the type of player that would benefit the Mets in a trade. Basically pay nothing to bring him onboard, trade him at the deadline and get a low-level prospect who potentially turns into something. Now that Isringhausen's preferences are known, what teams will really express interest in a player who's said he only wants to play in two cities? This makes Alderson's job tough, but you have to believe the GM will talk to Isringhausen about this (possibly behind closed doors) and let him know what the team's plans are with him.
"It's an expression of preference, and I take it into account, and weigh it accordingly," Alderson said.
While it's commendable to see that Izzy wants to remain in New York, he doesn't have a no-trade clause and he really doesn't have a say in whether he's moved or not. Alderson's job is to make the Mets better -- and particularly, that "better" will be considered in terms of the teams future and bringing in young players. It still remains in the GM's best interest, to move a veteran like Izzy, despite the hurler's wishes.